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People First and Mission Focused

 

 

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Carl Thomas

Pastor | Live Free Founder | Lover of Jesus, Philly sports, fitness, tattoos, sarcasm, and craft beers.

This week I want to talk about a topic that quite honestly is a bit uncomfortable and even unpleasant for some.

But I’d be remiss not to talk about it–mainly because I know the things I will discuss in this post are some of the reasons people stop giving to legitimate causes that are doing great work.

For years, nonprofit organizations and (sadly) ministries have made the news because of financial scandals and mismanagement. That said, when you read headlines about organizations accused of misappropriating funds or paying exorbitant salaries, it’s hard not to wonder if everyone does that.

Unless you’re on the inside, how would you know?

Maybe you read about the pastor’s wife who purchased an air-conditioned dog house with church funds decades ago? Just a tiny part of the much larger misappropriation.

Or… in recent years, a pastor who used millions of dollars obtained from fraudulent PPP loans to buy luxury cars?

These kinds of headlines are so crazy they sound like they couldn’t possibly be true of ministries, but sadly, they were. These scandals enabled by a lack of financial transparency have caused many to give less or stop altogether. And who could blame them…or you?

We make every effort to be the polar opposite by being accountable for every dollar we spend.

REAL PEOPLE. REAL COMMUNITY. REAL FREEDOM.

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Our staff is small, and our salaries are well below industry standards. I won’t mention specific numbers to avoid accusations of mudslinging, but the graphic below compares:

  1. Our executive payroll to leaders in similar charitable industries based on data from salary.com.
  2. The % of budget we spend on payroll compared to others in the same industry.

We’ll never be featured on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous nor do our dogs have air-conditioned dog houses. That’s not a brag or a complaint. It’s just reality.

We believe in stewarding money reasonably and offer complete financial transparency. One of our core beliefs is accountability, and we always want to live up to that standard.

Not one dollar of your giving nor any donation we receive goes towards salaries.

All contributions go towards creating and maintaining the resources and communities we offer to help those we serve. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies on donations to help those who come to us in desperate need of healing.

Our operating budget is over $25k a month.

And while the subscription fees for our Live Free Community App and Small Groups Online program offset a portion of our costs, they don’t come close to covering it all. Yes, $240K a year may sound like a lot. But it is a significantly smaller budget than many others in our sector.

We don’t have any fancy or gimmicky gifts to offer you in exchange for your giving.

But, we can promise you that in a society where many battle with their mental, spiritual, and sexual health, rest assured, our unyielding commitment is to pour our finances into serving the broken and hurting, prioritizing what matters most – people.

Just know if you choose to donate to our mission, we will continue to be good stewards of your resources.

And remember, if you donate today and your contribution will be doubled!

A generous donor is matching up to $25K in donations during this year-end campaign, giving your support double the impact.

Make your tax-deductible donation here.

By the way, if you enjoyed this post, sign up for our newsletter to get content like this sent directly to your inbox once per week with no strings attached.

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